...the Angels just fixed their lineup with a superstar hitter.
We've had one well-respected Denizen completely write off the Mariners so far, and he beat the crowd to it by at least three days. But remember, that was (1) three days ago and (2) coming from one of the Denizens who dared to disagree on He Who Must Not Be Named. SO THERE
If you want to join him in the early bail, you must first stipulate NO (reasonable) chance for the Mariners to make the Wild Card -- let us say less chance of the M's making the WC2 than the Seahawks going 17-2. Because you're watching for that, right? When it comes to "Fuhgeddaboudit" it's just not good enough to say "I'm depressed." One must lean forward on one's toes when one sings soprano.
You must also stipulate that you understand the M's are -3.0 back with 23 to play. To the Angels. The Twinks have twanked, as the Emperor hath forseen.
You must also stipulate that you understand the M's have already made up +2.0 of that three-game gap, since we assume the M's go 4-2 in their remaining Angels games in any playoff scenario.
Actually, all you have to stipulate is that you don't think the M's are very good, come to think of it. Or that you've checked FanGraphs' estimated playoff chances, which has the M's at 5%. Although those odds change by 2.0x or 0.5x with a series sweep.
Anyway, if you want to join The Sherm in his hearty fare-thee-well, feel free to do so in the comments below. Don't come crying to Dr. D when Paxton throws his playoff no-hitter, though.
GRIK: The Astros traded for the player with a supermodel wife. We got Andrew "West Brom" Albion. Subsequently, even an Ariel Miranda no-hitter was not enough to save us.
GROK: Dr. D his ownself must admit that if we're only going to trade for one supermodel wife, he would prefer it be during a season in which we're 87-19. But he is beginning to suspect Jerry Dipoto of having an unhealthy bias against great players.
GRIK: Zeus and Felix throw simulated games Friday. They'll probably go 3-4 innings in their MLB "debuts" the next week - with Moore and Marc-O bridging them.
GROK: Hence the little scuffle, with Andrew Moore throwing Wednesday in order to back up either one in the last Ranger game or the first Astro game. If Felix started the last Ranger game on Sept. 14, then Zeus could lead off against the Astros on the 15th, pitch the 21st against the Rangers, the 26th against the A's ... and the WC playoff game. Or would you rather have Paxton go the season-ending game against the Angels? Hey, think hard, 'cause after this weekend's Angel series you might not have to worry about it any longer.
Either way, if Felix and Paxton throw sim games this Friday and "debut" the 14th-15th, that lines them up for those two games, game #162 against the Angels and whatever game #163 is. Boy, somebody with the Mariners is super smart.
GRIK: Hisashi Iwakuma is working feverishly to get in at least an inning before the season's over.
GROK: Credit to his work ethic. Or to the fact that he won't let his 2017 World Series dream die. Or to his agent blowing up his phone in all caps. Either way, it's great by us.
GRIK: Erasmo Ramirez is now Greg Maddux. The M's website says so, or pretty much so.
GROK: The idea is that Ramirez added a gloveside cut fastball, which "keeps the batters honest" about two sides of the plate. 90% of these stories are "noise," but this one has the enemy quotes and the 2.40 ERA to go with it.
Erasmo's big obstacle was always a way too homer-able fastball thrown from a low release angle. Another way to say that is, "too little margin for error." Now they're saying he has a Neutralizer against the guys leaning back at the waist and swinging from their wallets; Johns gives a measly .198 as the oppening average against his 404 cutters so far this season.
Dr's Prognosis: well worth consideration. Every time he thinks of a classy pitcher using a cut fastball to go from "classy but mediocre" into "classy but great" he thinks of Cliff Lee.
being of sound mind mind and body, being of at least 18 years of age, and not acting under duress, threats, or undue influence, and being fully apprised that in the event the Mariners make the wild card game I am to be humiliated worse than that time Doc picked the 'Niners at Quest and was reprimanded by Richard Sherman, hereby pronounce, declare, assert and proclaim:
Wait, (Stands on tippy toes and goes full soprano).
THE MARINERS ARE TOAST!
Let's repeat that in Spanish.
¡LOS MARINEROS ESTAN TOSTADO!
Did I get the estar form right?
My reasons are as follows:
1. The Mariners are the streakiest team that ever streaked, but they consistently can't get over their humps. If they ever get to +3, then they are sure to be swept the next time out. Edgar weekend cemented this for me. 2. The Mariners consistently lose head to head matchup against the good teams. They have lost every series to the Stros and the Yankees this year. They have lost to the Indians. They lost to the Nats. They are even against Boston but that's about it. The Mariners look like monsters when there are Orcs or Braves to slay. They are about as good as the Angels, in that their talents and their holes are very apparent.
3. Offense teams with poor starting pitching only work great when the three run bombs are flowing. Even the best offense cannot carry you every night. I think the Mariners offense is a highlight and far better than its run scored place on the totem pole because they play at Safeco. Correspondingly, the pitching might be worse than we suspected. Many moon shots off Erasmo get Safeco'd in left center. That's just how it is. 4. The Mariners don't believe they are a top flight team without a #1 pitcher to carry them. The Paxton streak was real because the team rallied around him. Felix and Kuma are done and there is no 200 inning man to replace them.
That said, I think the Mariners are exciting. Ben Gamel and Mitch Haniger are 24K gold. Ben is a tougher out. Haniger has more pop. They both are better than the unlegendary outfields we've been talking about for the last 15 years.
The Mariners infield is great. All of them.
That said, I know what I know.
But wouldn't it be "estan tostados"?
So that's what I have to do to get you to post Mojo. Let you beat me in a baseball argument. Or a chess game :- )
One of your best!
Wow Doc, here I thought I was being clever staking out territory in the skeptics corner. I figured if the Mariners play badly, I was right, and gloating ensues. If I'm wrong, everyone gets caught up in the first playoff appearance in franchise history* and forgets completely about me and my blown call, just like everyone forgets about the ump who cost Galarraga that perfect game. But no! Now you've made me out to be the ringleader of an apathetic mutiny, and I'm obligated to live and die for the cause! And to take the opportunity to slander my name by bringing up the time I suggested Yo might not be the second coming of Carlos Silva... I'm offended sir. A man should not be judged by his worst moments. That's why we can't judge Donald Trump by his Access Hollywood blunder... or was it the time he called Mexicans "murderers and rapists"... or when he insulted that Gold Star family... or said John McCain was a loser... or Charlottesville...
Okay, okay. Joking aside, I do want to go on the record that I am leaning into my solo, thank you very much. It's not that the Mariners are making me depressed, although they might do that if I remained invested. No, the honest truth is that I just don't think this is a good team. That's not to say they're a bad one. They have far too much talent, and Scott & Jerry are manning the pumps far too emphatically for them to be bad. They're just aggressively average, with practically no plausible upside to be found. You can see the 3-game losing streaks that follow the 3-game winning streaks coming a mile away these days.
We've dropped 2 to the Astros, as everyone knew we would. We even managed to heroically overcome 6 no-hit innings last night to stave off victory and salvage the debut of the beloved Justin Verlander. Guys who marry supermodels are just the best, aren't they? That's why everyone loves Tom Brady and Donald - oh gee there I go again.
There are 23 games left. We will lose tonight to Lance McCurveball, ~99.578% probability. Then we need to go, what like 16-6 down the stretch to make it? What have these players ever, ever, ever done to suggest they are capable of that?
Okay, flag planted. Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
PS: "Wretched refuse" has a nice ring to it. I always thought Yo was an odd moniker, maybe he should try a more appropriate one...
Hey Sherm. You be General Leia and I'll be Admiral Akbar. If we get blasted by a fully operational death star, then it will be a day long remembered. Where's Matt and Daddy O? I expect them to post their opinions with conviction and not give milktoast "They're kinda sorta maybe not bad but might not make it" replies.
The Seattle Mariners are and have been toast since:
1. Ariel Miranda turned opposing hitters into a collective Dave Kingman or Gorman Thomas (take your pick).
2. Felix bit the dust so hard that his teeth turned brown.
3. James Paxton proved (again) to be peanut brittle. All right, all right, I'll add the obligatory proviso that he's no more likely to be injured next year than any other pitcher. Remind me of that when he gets injured next year.
4. The league adjusted to Haniger and Gamel, and both hit the inevitable rookie wall. Still some hope there, though.
5. Jean Segura turned into a completely different hitter than earlier in the season.
6. Jerry DiPoto hired Scott Servais (sorry, Scott, but there it is).
7. Jerry DiPoto decided to embark on a mission to churn more players through his roster than salmon swimming upstream to spawn.
8. The rotation devolved into HWMNBN and various imitations and iterations of others WMNBN.
9. Dan Altavilla became Dan Pancho Villa.
10. Running the bases the Mariners continued to look more like Little Leaguers than even bush leaguers.
11. Etc., etc., etc., rinse, wash, repeat.
(This is a memorial, place-holder comment for my 5-star post eaten by the "not logged in" beast. It was a VERY clever and humorous list of why the Mariners have long since been toast. Your loss is your loss, and I have no gain left. I'm truly sorry. This was one of my best, gone in a poof of silicon.)
There are 4 teams between us and LAA.
So we have to outperform 5 teams, three of them by 3+ games.
If we beat McCullers tonight (a big if) then we are sitting at 70 and 70. Nothing less than 84 wins gets in, and it is likely 85. Sherm has called it right.
Basically, we're all but done.
. . . was meaningful september baseball. Guess somebody should have stipulated that that didn't mean solely Sept. 1 baseball. Mo, did you lawyer that contract? Loopholes, man.
Speaking of man, I interviewed Rob Manfred at an event today in DC and asked him if he could throw the Red Sox out of the league and replace them with a third wild card because of the Apple Watch trick. He said no. So, yes, toast but toast on the number 2 setting. Might get to number 10 tonite.
OK, this team has enough offense to win games. Has had all year. Cruz, Cano and Seager have been healthy (generally) all year and that's good enough to score runs, with any help elsewhere.
But we did have a projected pitching rotation that was susceptible (to say the least) to injury and significant time-loss. Felix had been pretty fragile, for the first time in his career, last season. Kuma has been tweaky historically, but wasn't in '16. Smyly is a tweak waiting to happen. it's why he wasn't my first pick from that team. And Paxton, Zeus himself, has a boo boo prone arm.
If you had said that we would get just 60 starts from those 4 (basically 50% production) you would still have had to fill 60 starts. That's a lot. In the end, however, we've got only 39 starts, total (and 224 innings) from the 4 of them. In some ways, finishing at 81-81 would be pretty remarkable.
DiPoto went out and got more arm-unition in Gonzales and Leake, brought back Ramirez on the cheap, leaned on Miranda (who always had big enough shoulders for that role) resurrected Albers, and mixed/matched a lost list of AAA guys and beat up MLBers. The bullpen basically saved the starters through much of the season; Our top six BP-innings guys all have ERA+ between 117 and 200.
We didn't trade away anybody we couldn't afford to lose (even though I hate the Tank trade) and we scrounged up some decently warm bodies for next year.
But this year is shaping up to be a bust, again.
Go team. Prove me wrong
Twinkies last 10 games: 6-4; M's 3-7; you be the judge regarding tanking, or twanking. They keep winning and M's keep doing their best to stay .500. Sorry, but it is depressing.